I saw this exhibit at the Pulse art show recently here in New York. Artist R. Luke Dubois has dissected presidential State of the Union addresses (43 of them, one for each president through Bush the Deuce), presenting the most frequently used words in each as optometrist charts, the most used word at the top, the next most on the second line, etc.
I’ll show six of them below (as best my little camera could capture), but you can can see the entire collection here. Each one is at the bottom of the page, Washington’s on the left, W’s on the, um, right.
Draw your own conclusions. As an artist who loves history, I found it a fascinating time capsule. I enjoyed some of the irony. For instance, note that Nixon’s most-used word is “truly.” As my friend Mike Sorgatz said upon seeing it, “Only a liar would use that word so conspicuously.”